Buying Your First Guitar

If you want to learn to play the guitar the first thing you’re going to need is a guitar, sounds obvious right.  You’re in luck though a guitar is a fairly inexpensive instrument especially when compared to other instruments.  You can grab a decent acoustic guitar for a couple of hundred bucks.  When you first walk into a music store, buying a guitar can be the scariest thing ever.  There are hundreds of guitars, how do you choose?  Let’s look at what you need to consider when you buy your first guitar.

Set up the budget

The price of a guitar can range from a couple of hundred dollars to several thousand.  You’re a beginner; you don’t need to start out with a $5,000 guitar.  You need to know how much you are willing to spend.  A couple of hundred dollars is more than enough to spend on an instrument you are going to learn with.  You can always upgrade to a higher end guitar later.

Acoustic or electric

There are lots of guitars to choose from, but there are two main types acoustic or electric.  On top of that there is bass or lead guitar, even a banjo is a type of guitar if bluegrass is the type of music you’re into.  It’s best if you know ahead of time what type of guitar you want to learn with first.  An acoustic may be easier but you can rock out with an electric.

Choosing a brand

Just like any other product on the market there are different manufacturers and brands.  The price will vary according to the brand as well.  Well-known brands like a Les Paul will give you a better quality guitar but it is going to cost you more.  You can find a happy medium between a good brand and a decent quality guitar.  Check out different brands online, check with forums to see what other players recommend and you can also ask your guitar teacher.

Screen out the bad ones

You can always bring someone with you that understand guitars and can help you find the right one.  They can try out the guitar and help you choose one that has a great sound.  When it comes to music stores the staff are usually incredibly helpful and will help you choose a guitar that works for you.  Try different chords and take a look at the structure of the guitar.

Buying a guitar isn’t complicated, just take your time and you’ll find the right one.

How to Restring Your Guitar

There are lots of guitar players who are reluctant to restring their guitars, and it is not just new guitar players either.  They are intimidated by the process thinking that it is far more complicated than it really is.  Restringing a guitar is both fairly simple and relatively quick to do.  Let’s look at how to restring your guitar so that next time you break a string you can have it fixed it no time.

The first thing you’re going to need is a place to work.   You are going to want a big enough space to hold your guitar, your kitchen table or coffee table should work just fine.  Thrown down a blanket or a cloth to make sure neither your table nor guitar ends up scratched.  You will also need a couple of tools, wire cutters, bridge pin remover and a string winder, all of which you can find at a music store.

Step 1:  Remove the old strings.  Loosen the tuning peg on your guitar enough so that you can pull the string out of its hole.  At the other end of the guitar you will need the bridge pin remover to remove the other end of the guitar string.  A bridge pin remover is not strictly necessary but it will make the job much easier.  Be very careful so that you don’t end up damaging the bridge and then needing to have your guitar repaired.  Wiggle the pin a bit to remove the string.

Step 2:  Putting in the new string.  One end of your guitar string has a small ball attached and that is the end you want to start with first.  Carefully put the ball into the bridge hole and push in the pin to hold the string in place.  Once the pin is in as far as it will go pull gently on the string to make sure it is going to stay in place.  At the other end of your guitar where the pegs are you need to put in the other end of the string into the hole of the peg.  Now you want to tighten it just enough that it isn’t loose anymore.  You can tune it later, but you want to make sure there is no “buzz” when you pluck.

That is pretty much it!  There is nothing to fear in restringing your guitar, it is quick and easy.  Here is a visual guide to help you the next time you break a string.